your deity punish and reward in this life?
is the woman, man or child who can function without the motivation of
either reward or punishment. Without speaking of a Deity who rewards or
punishes, most of us discover that we are both rewarded and punished by
our own actions. The ancient adage is a true one: “The deed is its own
reward.” But rare is the person who functions at such a high level of
spirituality. Most of us look for some form of reward for services
performed. We expect a paycheque when it’s payday, and we always expect
that those whom we love will love us back. Reward and punishment is
built into the nature of things. Every litigant who has won or lost a
case in court knows this to be true.
But if we are “deserving”
of reward for good deeds performed, why do we think we will not be
deserving of punishment if we behave thoughtlessly or selfishly, at the
expense of another’s happiness? We often find that, if we act
selfishly, what we so zealously or unwisely sought eludes in the end.
The laws of the physical universe — action-reaction/cause-effect — have
their counterparts in the moral universe, for all laws regulating the
physical and spiritual universe are controlled by the same Governor and
Ordainer. These moral and spiritual laws are revealed by the Prophets
and can be found in the holy books of the world’s religions.
do not seem to object to a God who rewards, but they definitely do not
seem to like a God who punishes. They want the one without the other.
But Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith,
revealed in his main ethical work: “O Son of Being! Bring thyself to
account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death,
unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give
account for thy deeds” (The Arabic Hidden Words, No. 31). This moral
injunction calls us to be thoughtful and responsible for our deeds on a
daily basis, and to bring ourselves to account, presumably for the sake
of improving our own lives, and to the extent possible, the lives of